Bulldogs blanked by North Pike

Published 12:31 am Sunday, March 2, 2008

NATCHEZ — North Pike freshman pitcher Revis Butler had a no-hitter and a perfect game broken up with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning, but the Jaguars provided him plenty of offense.

In fact, Butler himself had a good game at the plate with three hits as North Pike rolled to a 12-0 win over the Natchez High Bulldogs Saturday afternoon at Chester Willis Field.

Butler retired the first 11 batters he faced until giving up a single by Melvin Davis. That was followed up by a line-drive single by Kendall Logan in which the ball hit off the infield umpire. However, Butler struck out Kennan McCallister to end the inning.

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“This was his first start of the year. He threw strikes,” North Pike head coach George Lott said. “He had a real good game at the plate. All our guys did.”

Natchez High (1-4) was originally scheduled to play a couple of varsity baseball games Saturday at Chester Willis Field – first against Class 2A Simmons and then against Class 3A North Pike.

However, with Simmons’ boys basketball team having played in the Class 2A State Tournament in Jackson last Friday night, the Blue Devils couldn’t make the long trip to Natchez and the Bulldogs had to settle for playing a junior varsity and varsity game against the Jaguars.

Unfortunately, the Bulldogs’ ineffectiveness at the plate and on defense proved to be costly once again. They managed just three hits in the game and committed six errors. Four of those errors occurred in the top of the fourth inning and the Jaguars capitalized on three of them during their five-run outburst.

“We’re just not hitting the ball. That’s the bottom line,” Natchez High head coach Charlie Williams said. “The defense is sporadic.”

Casey Paulk scored on a sacrifice fly by Arin Rimes, Shaun Green scored on a single by Dustin Miller, and Drew Worthy scored on a Robby Hill groundout. Miller and Justin Badon scored on errors.

The only thing coach Lott wasn’t pleased with was his team’s inability to bring runners in with the bases loaded. North Pike (4-3) had opportunities to bust the game wide open in the top of the first, third and fourth innings. Those three innings, the Jaguars left a total of seven men on base.

“I talked with them about that the last four games,” Lott said. “That’s something we’ve got to work on.”

But Lott added he was satisfied with the overall team effort.

“We worked on a couple of pickoff moves. We fielded everything pretty cleanly.”

Butler wound up striking out six batters in the five-inning game and went 3-for-4. Paulk was 2-for-4 and Badon was 2-for-2.

Natchez High’s other hit was a single by losing pitcher Travis Isaac in the bottom of the fifth. Isaac gave up seven runs on five hits, four walks and a hit batsman in two and one-third innings.